Yesterday we told you about the BSCFA’s rejection to meet with officials of the Belize Sugar Industries Limited in Belize City on November 19th to resume renegotiations on the new agreement if the payment per ton of Bagasse to cane famers does not form part of the discussion. Since BSI stated that the issue can be dealt with at unspecified date, the BSCFA continues with its threat not to commence the 2013/2014 crops on November 25th.
And tonight the back and forth continues with BSI responding not too keen on the threats made by the BSCFA’s top brass on delaying the start of the new crop season.
What we can tell you is that the situation is getting nasty because BSI made public a letter sent to Chairman of the BSCFA Committee of Management, Leonardo Cano.
In the letter BSI maintains that the cane is sold to them upon delivery and as such it becomes their property. BSI also quotes several portions of interviews given by representatives of the BSCFA to the media. To the attack BSI responds by stating that from the onset of the dispute BSI has stated its position that there is no legal obligation on their part to or BELGOGEN to share the revenue from the sale of electricity to BEL.
According to BSI at no time has the BSCFA stated to them that they are willing to battle out the matter in court, the proper place to prove that its members have a legal right to in effect share in such revenue.
BSI says the unfounded accusation against ASR Group is most unfortunate not only for the sugar industry but for the country. In addition, ASR group chose to invest in sugar in Belize and saved the sugar industry from the likelihood of collapse and that the position in respect to sharing the revenue from the sale of electricity is not the position of ASR but rather from BSI.
And while the executives at BSI reiterate that discussions on the issue be done solely between the parties involved, taking the concerns to the media (in BSI’s eyes) has done more harm than good.
BSI reiterated that the proper approach is to have the matter determined by a court of law rather than by threats and political pressure. For BSI, this is the way that businessmen should settle their differences when they are clearly of opposing legal positions. As a result, BSI says that they have reviewed the issue of the Agenda for the upcoming meeting on Tuesday and will discuss 5 main issues, including the bagasse aspect of things.
BSI says they will discuss on a strictly “Without Prejudice” basis how the dispute between the parties on the matter of the claimed payment for bagasse can be dealt with. Now it is left to be seen if the back and forth will continue or if this time the BSCFA will accept BSI’s offer to meet on the 19th.
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